Don't know why, but for some reason May Day sounds really good. I keep picturing spring flowers, gentle breezes, and sunny skies. And clouds. I'm really liking clouds a lot. We ran the first session of The Cloud in April, and learned one really important thing; we didn't schedule enough time. We had planned for 45 minutes and we've extended that to 75 minutes. It probably won't go quite that long, but we want to make sure we get everything covered. I've made some other changes in the organization and order of presentation, and it'll be even better in May. It's a great session. You just can't pick up any technical news without hearing about some of the technology, or what a new cloud provider is offering, or…. So, check it out in May. If you're hearing about virtualization, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, APIs, Web services, Web 2.0, JSON, we've got you covered.
The Cloud is May 20th at 1:30 EST, and it's still at the introductory rate of $125.
Keep informed, and keep in touch.
Here's the schedule or you can view the complete schedule on our Website:
CSTA Web sessions:
May 6, 7
June 17, 18
July 15, 16
August 12, 13
UITJ (Understanding IT Jobs) Web sessions:
TR Web sessions:
The Cloud Web sessions:
Keep in touch and keep up with technology!
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It's hard to read anything about IT without hitting this word – virtualization really is the hottest technology around. It's not a new thing – the mainframe world has relied on it for decades – but now it's everywhere.
The basic definition is simple; "Pooling together resources throughout the entire enterprise into a single unit that can be managed from a single point." The benefit is simple; "This allows resources to be assigned to a user only as needed, and returned to the pool when free." It's the details that need attention.
Virtualization is a software function. You need software to create and manage that pool. The software that comes to mind when talking about "managing" is operating systems. An operating system is defined as a resource manager – and virtualization manages two major resources: storage and processors. So, what's the connection between virtualization software and operating systems?
The mainframe world built virtualization into the operating systems, IBM's MVS (Multiple Virtual Storage) handled virtualization for both storage and the processor. It was introduced in 1974, and mainframe operating systems have provided virtualization ever since. The server and desktop areas, however, were not involved until the 1990s.
Virtualization in the server/desktop world is handled differently. Because each mainframe has its own operating system, it's natural to include the virtualization function. This doesn't work with servers and desktops where several operating systems are usually involved, starting with AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, and Windows. The virtualization software exists separately from the operating system, and we have different software for storage and processor virtualization.
Storage virtualization is provided by storage management vendors, and starts with SAN (Storage Area Networks) and NAS (Network Attached Storage) technology. It has three formats:
Disk-level—cutting disks apart, gluing them together, cloning, thin provisioning.
Homogeneous Systems—virtualization spanning multiple systems with the same architecture (Isilon OneFS, Equallogic, ONTAP GX).
Heterogeneous Systems—virtualization spanning multiple systems with different architectures (IBM TotalStorage, HP StorageWorks, DataCore SANSymphony)
Server virtualization was started by VMware in late 1990s, with software that defined virtual machines – a software computer. Multiple virtual machines could run in one physical machine, and this allowed companies to increase (and decrease) the number of servers available to handle a given work load. This is, of course, scalability – companies could scale up the processors they had available for increases in demand without actually buying computers that would sit idle much of the time.* Makes sense. These software computers are called VMs (Virtual Machines) and the software that creates and manages VMs is called a hypervisor, or VMM (Virtual Machine Manager). There are two types of hypervisors. Type 1 runs directly on the computer and is often called a bare metal hypervisor. It can run any number of operating systems, which basically creates any number of VMs. Type 2 runs under a host OS, and it then runs guest OSs. The best known hypervisors are ESX Server (VMware), Hyper-V (Microsoft), and Xen (Cisco), all of which are type 1.
VMware's latest release of ESX Server was just released, is called vSphere, and is defined by VMware as an operating system! We're back to including virtualization in operating systems. VMware states that vSphere manages the hardware and supplies interfaces and services for the software – exactly what an operating system does..
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1. What's the latest industry to go into the cloud?
2. What happened to Clementine?
3. What's the latest big acquisition?
4. Why is vSphere an operating system?
5. Why is multi-tenancy important?
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We're lowering the price of TechRef's annual subscription to $39.95. For everyone. That's it – one charge that will take care of maintenance. We're really happy about this. I know many of you have heard me say "we can cover all this material because you're finishing this session with TechRef® - a complete review of everything we've covered at your fingertips ." That's really true. We count on the fact that you have TechRef®, so we leave some of the detail work to the database! You can look it up. We know you'll hear about new technologies and products when they're introduced, because we'll put that information in TechRef®. We'll update definitions when the products or technologies change, so you keep up with the changes.
TechRef® is an integral part of everything we do. If we know about it, it's in TechRef®. Described in plain English, telling business men and women what it is – what it does – and what it works with. TechRef® contains the information business people need without going into the "hows" the techies both need and love.
If you don't subscribe – now's the time. If you do subscribe, tell your friends. Just $39.95, and you've got IT at your side 31.*
*I couldn't resist. This was in some comedy routine – someone said "….31" When asked what 31 meant, the answer was "24/7, duh." I don't know – it just struck me as really funny. Sorry.
We all know computers are constantly changing. Every time we think about purchasing one, we've got new choices. It's worth summarizing the different kinds of computers, getting the synonyms properly labeled, and looking at what's available now. Remember, we're only looking at individual computers; the ones we might purchase for ourselves.
multi-core chips Computer architecture where a single piece of silicon holds two or more processing cores. Dual-core architecture, building two processing cores on a single chip is common, quad-core (4 processors) is growing, octo (8) exists and Interlagos processors with between 12 and 16 cores on a single chip are planned for release in 2011 by AMD.
SSD (Solid State Disk) Storage system. Semiconductor system which is electrically, mechanically and software compatible with a conventional (magnetic) hard disk, but contains no moving parts. The advantages are faster access time and better resilience to vibration and temperature. The disadvantages are higher cost (more expensive per megabyte than disk drives) and larger size. Used in "hostile" environments such as a factory with vibration and power fluctuations, any environment with high and/or low temperatures, etc. Also used for systems with multiple users and performance issues, and expected to be used in notebook computers. SSDs were introduced in 1985, but their use has grown exponentially since the early 2000s.
Blade PCs Desktop computers. Design for desktop systems which takes the PC off the desktop and places it in the data center where each PC is reduced to a thin blade with the processor, hard drive and memory mounted on it. Multiple blades slide vertically into a rectangular cage and multiple cages can be rack-mounted and connected to one another. A small box at each workstation connects the monitor, mouse, keyboard and other peripherals to the blade PC in the data center. Also called PC blades, thin client computer.
Handheld computer Light-weight (1 pound and less) task specific computers. These machines can be pen- or stylus-based, offer voice recognition, fax and modem communication, and include a pager. Typical use: write in "lunch - John" and the system will send John a fax and enter the lunch date in the user's appointment book. Many offer connections to the Internet for email and Web surfing. Also called PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants).
MID (Mobile Internet Device) Computer. Individual computer sized between a laptop and a PDA (handheld device). Designed for the consumer (home) market rather than for the enterprise (business) market, and run Linux as the operating system rather than Windows. Very similar to UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer), which is the term for enterprise machine with the same general description, and many people feel the two acronyms are redundant. At any rate, these machines typically have 5" – 7" screens (diagonal measure), and WiFi internet connectivity. Term was introduced by Intel in April, 2007, and many vendors make devices they call MIDs.
netbook Individual computer that is smaller than a notebook with the size often around 10 inches by 8 inches and the weight around three lbs. Made for business travelers, these systems have wireless capabilities (usually WiFi and Bluetooth) and important functions are accessing the Internet and email. These systems include MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) and UMPCs (UltraMobile PCs) and are also called ultraportables, subnotebooks, mini-notebooks, and ultrasmall laptops.
notebook computer Notebook computers are portable computers that can weigh as little as three pounds. Most notebooks can plug into larger computers, which gives the user the capability of working away from the office and simply uploading whatever information is collected or processed while on the road. Most are close to the size of a standard notebook (8 1/2" x 11") and have internal hard disks, modems, CD and diskette drives. The smallest of these systems, the sub-three-pound ones, are called ultraportable notebooks. Also called laptops.
plug computers Physically small server computer designed for home use. Costs less and uses less power than a PC-based home server. In fact, uses so little power that it is usually an "always on" device. Used as a media server, to provide back-up services and file sharing, and act as a bridge for cloud based services. Devices announced: February, 2009.
smartphone Individual computer. Standard cell phone that, in addition to phone functions, has Internet connections to send and receive email and browse the Web. Most people agree that smartphones have operating systems and the ability to run applications, even those created by third parties. Most include embedded PIMs (Personal Information Managers), and even office programs such as word processors and spreadsheets. Other functionality could include a full keyboard, a touch screen, built-in camera, media software for playing music, browsing photos, and viewing video.
ultrathin notebook Individual computers that weigh 3 lbs (plus or minus a few ounces) while maintaining approximately the size of a regular notebook with a full size keyboard. Some have disk drives, but this, too, is something that is often left out. These systems are usually more expensive than regular laptops.
UMPC (UltraMobile Personal Computer) Computer. A machine that's smaller than a laptop yet larger than a PDA (handheld computer). The devices provide video and Internet functions with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, email, screen size is typically between five and seven inches (diagonal measure), and touch panels, if not touch screens. They run Windows operating systems and are considered enterprise computers - they are designed for the business market. There are two styles. Laptop UMPCs open in the middle to show the screen and keyboard. Slider UMPCs slide the screen away from the keyboard.
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1. The computer gaming industry. A technology has been developed to deliver video games on demand, something that has the potential to ultimately make game consoles obsolete. OnLive is a new type of compression that allows its game servers to communicate with players in real time over a broadband connection and allows this to work.
2. Clementine, one of the original data mining products has upgraded and changed its name. It's now PASW (Predictive Analytics Software) Modeler and does much more than the original data mining functions.
3. This one is worth watching. Oracle is buying Sun Microsystems. This puts Oracle in the hardware business. And, gives them ownership of Java and MySQL, just to name a couple. What do you think?
4. Actually, we're just talking about a name. vSphere is actually the latest version of ESX server – VMware's virtualization product. They are calling it an operating system because as the software has been upgraded it's now both managing the hardware and providing interfaces and services for software (applications). In their statements; "This is what an operating system does."
5. Multi-tenancy is an important concept in cloud computing. It refers to having a limited number of copies of software running, each supporting multiple users (tenants). This is important because the software vendor can keep a limited number of copies updated at the exact same time so that users are always working with the same program – no matter which server the virtualization software has them using.
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